Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Libyan government promises UN access to Tripoli

According to the UN, Libyan government has promised aid workers access to areas under its control. Under the agreement, humanitarian workers would be permitted into Tripoli and would be granted access to all of the capital.

UN aid workers have already established a base in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya, where recently around 1,000 people arrived from Misrata seeking humanitarian aid. Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi's forces have been attacking Misrata for days, it is yet to be estimated the number of people that have been killed in the attacks. The International Organisation for Migration, shipped the evacuees to Benghazi but thousands more remain in wait of rescue.

The World Food Programme has shipped 240 tonnes of wheat flour and high-energy biscuits acrossed from Tunisia through a humanitarian corridor into western Libya.

It has been reported that rebel forces have been making headway in Misrata, however, civilians are running short of basic food and medical supplies. In order for the UN to deliver both medical care and food supplies to civilians, fighting would have to halt but the Libyan government is reluctant to agree to a ceasefire.

Qadhafi is standing firm and seems resolute not to yield to international pressure or be forced to step-down by the rebels, who have been fighting to end his 41 year rule since February.

Sources: BBC, CNN International, Asia Times Online, Xinhua

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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